Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot (1967)
When Bob Dylan calls you one of his favorite songwriters, you have to be pretty damn amazing! Gordon Lightfoot eats amazing for breakfast. In the late 60's and the entire decade of the 70's, Lightfoot claimed masterwork after masterwork for his catalog, littering the years with songs that are better North American standards than those Gershwin songs Rod Stewart attempts to croon. Today's song is epic in scope, subtle in instrumentation, historical in story and just plain wonderful. It captures the beginning of the country's railroads as strongly as Genesis' "Driving The Last Spike" did for England's. Oddly enough, when I first came up with the title of this blog back in 1998, it was for a mixtape. Genesis opened that TDK D-90 with "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", bringing the Prog. For Folk, Gordon followed with today's track. I don't think you could find a better benchmark of the entire folk movement than this!
Gordon had to re-record his United Artists hits for the Warner Brothers' compilation Gord's Gold. Here is that version, which features syrupy seventies' strings. Delicious!